Halloumi or hellim is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes also cow’s milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled.
The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to mozzarella and has a salty flavour. It is stored in its natural juices. It must be garnished with mint, a practice based on the fact that halloumi keeps better and stays fresher and more flavoursome when wrapped with mint leaves.
The cheese is often used in cooking and can be fried until brown without melting, owing to its higher-than-normal melting point. This makes it an excellent cheese for frying or grilling (like for saganaki) or fried and served with vegetables, or as an ingredient in salads. Cypriots like eating halloumi with watermelon in the warm months, and as halloumi and lountza, a combination of halloumi cheese and either a slice of smoked pork, or a soft lamb sausage